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Barbed Wire Heart

Barbed Wire Heart

This powerful debut thriller from “a major new talent” (Kirkus) set in a poor, rural community where loyalty is everything, “packs an emotional punch” (Lisa Gardner) as the daughter of a meth kingpin is forced to choose between family, or freedom.

Never cut the drugs–leave them pure.
Guns are meant to be shot–keep them loaded.
Family is everything–betray them and die.

Harley McKenna is the only child of North County’s biggest criminal. Duke McKenna’s run more guns, cooked more meth, and killed more men than anyone around. Harley’s been working for him since she was sixteen, dreading the day he’d deem her ready to rule the rural drug empire he’s built.

Her time’s run out. The Springfields, her family’s biggest rivals, are moving in. And they’re coming for Duke’s only weak spot: his daughter.

Duke’s raised her to be deadly — he never counted on her being disloyal. But if Harley wants to survive and protect the people she loves, she’s got to take out both Duke’s operation and the Springfields. Blowing up meth labs is dangerous business, and getting caught will be the end of her, but Harley has one advantage: She is her father’s daughter. And McKennas always win.


“Harley is one of the most complex, fascinating, dangerous characters I’ve encountered in years.” —Lisa Gardner
“Terrific. ” —David Baldacci
“Pulls off something rare.” —Chicago Tribune
“Possibly the most powerful, original female character we’ve had in decades.” —New York Journal of Books
“A ballad of survival sung by a voice you’ll never forget.” —David Joy
“Highly satisfying.” —Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)
“Sharpe is definitely a name to watch.” —Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)
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Genre: Mystery & Thriller / Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense

On Sale: March 6th 2018

Price: $25.98 / $33.98 (CAD)

ISBN-13: 9781478975717

Meet The Author: Tess Sharpe

Born in a mountain cabin to a punk rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural Northern California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a lot of dogs and a growing colony of slightly feral cats. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed YA novel Far From You and the co-editor of Toil & Trouble, a feminist YA anthology.

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What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


"Narrator and author Tess Sharpe's debut story of backwoods crime and the ongoing struggle to survive against powerful rivals is enhanced by her emotional and evocative delivery. Harley McKenna has been involved in the family crime business since she was 16. Sharpe's voice mimics the existential terror of a teenager who is forced into life-or-death situations when she's too young to fully understand the ramifications of her and others' actions. Sharpe captures Harley's dread of the future, when she'll likely have to take over the drug-dealing empire. But it's the love of family that drives Harley, and Sharpe's narration depicts this with perfection. Overall, Sharpe transmits the tension and matter-of-fact violence of Harley's life with an intensity rarely heard in audiobooks."—AudioFile Earphone Awards

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